With the aim to expand digital e-services for travel abroad, Bangladesh is set to introduce an e-passports regime this week. The move comes following India introducing similar services while two countries agreeing to introduce e-passport and e-visa services to reduce the problems associated with document processing.
The new services that are likely to be launched this week by Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will see the Bangladesh President and Prime Minister receive the e-passports first.
According to the government sources the delivery of e-passports will start in regional offices by the end of 2020. “The services will expand in phases,” the minister said, adding that machine-readable passports will remain valid as well.
The Department of Immigration and Passports will issue 48-page and 64-page e-passports with the validity of five years and 10 years, respectively.
The move to switch to a digital passport system comes less than a decade after Bangladesh switched from manual to the machine-readable passport.
The government took the initiative to introduce e-passports in the wake of more than one passport being illegally issued again one person in the absence of database of fingerprints of citizens.